Thursday, March 17, 2011

Viewer Mode

As an experiment, we have created a way of accessing Sketcher rooms without an ArtGrounds account. Any unregistered user attempting to enter a Sketcher room will be signed in as "Viewer" followed by a random number, for instance "Viewer1234".

For obvious reasons, viewers aren't allowed to interact with the room in any way, except for entering or leaving it. Chat is read-only for viewers, to avoid disruptions, so do not expect any replies from them. At some point, we may add an "Allow/Deny chat from viewers" option in the client and let you decide for yourself instead.

New accounts will now have viewer access to all rooms. This means having a "Viewer" username in all rooms except General 1 (accessible to all new accounts). Once full access to the other rooms has been granted, you will have your normal ArtGrounds username there.

This change also means that Sketcher room previews work even if you're not signed in.

Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and Sketcher

Recently Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9. If you upgrade to IE9, you will need Oracle Java version 1.6.0_24 (Update 24) or later to use Sketcher. This update is required to satisfy the new security requirements imposed by IE9. If you use a different browser or older version of IE, you should be able to continue to use Sketcher with an older version of Java without issue.

Click here to download the latest version of Oracle Java.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Default Brush & Layer

The Doodle layer and the Pen tool are now selected by default when starting Sketcher. This should make things easier for beginners. Patched bug where tool would switch when other users signed in.

Shorter loading times for Sketcher

We're constantly working to improve our algorithms. A byte here, a millisecond there; every little detail counts. This is something we took into account when the undo feature was introduced. We decided that the somewhat increased loading times that resulted were worth the improvement. Always striving to better ourselves, however, we have now implemented further optimizations, resulting in reduced loading times and, hopefully, more of your beautiful art coming to the Sketcher rooms at